Katrina relief efforts at Notre Dame

Author: Michael O. Garvey


Families respond varyingly to various catastrophes.In the Notre Dame family, as in all others, countless kindnesses go unseen, but the Universitys institutional responses to Katrinas victims include the following:

University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., will lead a prayer, a moment of silence will be observed, and a collection will be taken up in the Notre Dame Stadium (80,795 capacity) during the Sept. 17 football game against Michigan State.

The Office of Campus Ministry designated last weekends collections from all the Masses at Notre Dames Basilica of the Sacred Heart as well as those celebrated in the 27 residence hall chapels for Catholic Charities, theLouisianaministries of the Congregation of Holy Cross, andAlliancefor Catholic Education schools in hurricane-affected areas.Nine days of prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows for hurricane victims are being held Sept. 6 to 14 from6:30to6:45 p.m.at the Basilica.

The Notre Dame Alumni Association has established a hurricane relief Web site at http://alumni.nd.edu/commserv/hurricane_relief.html to help coordinate relief efforts undertaken by members of the University community. The Alumni Club of New Orleans has developed an interactive bulletin board on the Web site to connect missing alumni and friends, announce University initiatives and extend offers of assistance.

The Center for Social Concerns hosted a Sept. 7 dinner for the 60 Notre Dame students whose homes are in the Gulf region.The center also will sponsor a “Hurricane Katrina Response Day” on Friday (Sept. 9) with a Cajun Hospitality Lunch to raise funds for the Gulf Coast relief effort; an “Academic Forum on Disaster Relief,” a panel discussion including historians, psychologists, engineers and economists from the Notre Dame faculty; and a prayer vigil for victims of the catastrophe.

Notre Dame coaches, equipment managers, and other staff have organized a clothing drive in the Department of Athletics, intending to send items to their counterparts atLouisianaStateUniversityfor distribution to relief agencies in theGulfCoastregion.

The administrators of the University Libraries are attempting to contact their counterparts at Loyola, Our Lady of the Holy Cross andXavierUniversitiesinNew Orleansto offer online reference services, expertise in damage assessment and salvage, and other assistance.

Two graduate students from Katrina-damaged institutions have been enrolled as visiting students in Notre DamesGraduateSchool, and discussions are under way with several others, and theNotre DameLawSchoolhas enrolled twoTulaneUniversitylaw students, both of them Notre Dame graduates, to continue the fall studies they had already begun.

Some 30 student groups have organized individual fundraising efforts, and drives for blood, clothing, and school supplies.

Faculty and administrators are attempting to contact and assist several students fromXavierUniversityinNew Orleanswho, as participants in Notre Dames McNair Scholars program, lived and studied on the Universitys campus in the weeks and days immediately preceding the disaster.

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